As predicted, far-right-wingers are going after Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for his breakthrough partnership with John Kerry (D-MA). The two Senators asserted Sunday that they have developed “a framework for climate legislation to pass Congress and the blueprint for a clean-energy future that will revitalize our economy, protect current jobs and create new ones, safeguard our national security and reduce pollution.”Some are even labeling Graham a RINO (Republican In Name Only), even though the American Conservative Union rates him an ACU “Senate Standout,” among the 20 most conservative U.S. Senators in 2008! Think Progress and Wonk Room have the gory details, which I excerpt below.
After voting to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court and expressing a willingness to build a compromise approach to clean energy legislation, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appears to be the new target of tea party activists. At a Graham town hall in Greenville yesterday, activist Harry Kimball of “RINO HUNT” protested by constructing a display that depicted Graham, as well as moderates like Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), being flushed down a toilet:
KIMBALL: This is for every RINO who has failed to represent us. […] [the toilet represents] flushing them, flushing them.
One attendee of the event asked the senator, “when are you going to announce that you are switching parties?” The question drew loud applause from the crowd. Graham defended himself, and denounced the influence of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) on the Republican party:
GRAHAM: I’m going to grow this party, I’m not going to let it get [inaudible], I’m not going to let it be hijacked by Ron Paul. […] I’m going to find people in Maine, Delaware, Illinois, other places-
AUDIENCE: Move there!
GRAHAM: That can win as Republicans, and I’m going to go up, and we’re going to move this party, and this country forward, and if you don’t like it, you can leave.
Angry attendees in the crowd interrupted Graham with cries of, “You’re a country club Republican,” “Sotomayor!,” and “You lie.” Outside the event, right-wing activist Julliet Kozak picketed the town hall with a sign decrying all “Unconstitutional Anti-Christ Socialist Federal Deficit Spending Programs.” She explained that she opposes what Graham is “doing in our Congress, what he’s doing to our country.”
Graham’s fellow South Carolina senator Jim DeMint (R) was an outspoken proponent of ejecting Specter from the Republican Party. DeMint told a conservative blogger Specter “cut our knees from under us.” He added that conservatives in the Senate need to aggressively “go after” Specter and other GOP moderates.
According to the newspaper The State, Graham repeatedly responded to those who accused him of being a “traitor” to “chill out.” One man told Graham he had “betrayed” conservatism and made a “pact with the devil” by working with Democrats. “We’re not going to be the party of angry white guys,” Graham said to even more shouts. Some people walked out during Graham’s speech after he told them, “if you don’t like it, you can leave.”
Brad Johnson rounds up the conservative blogosphere’s reaction to Graham below:
This unhinged response is reflected in the conservative blogosphere, where Graham has been called a “fake Republican,” “RINO” (Republican in name only), a “traitor,” “disgrace,” “asshat,” “democrat in drag,” and a “wussypants, girly-man, half-a-sissy”:
Liberty Journal: Vote out the traitors who seek control of you with the use of your money paid in the form of taxes.
Mike Proto: Quite honestly, it is growing tiresome having to report on another fake Republican who is selling us out. In this case, it is the RINO senior senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham. . . . Now, the faux Republican is teaming up with none other than John ‘F’n’ Kerry on C(r)ap & Trade.
Michelle Malkin: God save us from bipartisanship.
Gateway Pundit: Senator Graham is a disgrace.
Ross Kaminsky: Lindsey Graham is little more than Barack Obama’s useful idiot, a man who clearly has no interest in the scientific data and who is so desirous of “doing something” that he barely cares what it is he gets done.
Dan Riehl: Why does SC continue to re-elect this doofus with a bad haircut?
Bruce Tyson: The RINO traitor to all that is right, just, and good, South Carolina’s own Lindesey Graham [sic] has done it again: this time siding with John Kerry on climate change fraud.
Pamela Gellar: Any Republican who signs off on the bankrupting of America vis a vis junk science climate change legislation is a traitor. Lindsey Graham is an asshat.
Founding Bloggers: They are selling us out to cover up for the fact that depression era entitlement programs, combined with greed and corruption, are wiping us out.
Angry White Dude: Graham is, in a word, a douchebag being used for his vote. . . . Just like his daddy Supreme Rat McCain, Graham is a Democrat. South Carolinians, you’re better than that”¦those of you who aren’t liberals. Do something about it the next that wussypants, girly-man, half-a-sissy comes asking for your vote! He is no friend of America!
Mark Harvey: Just like McCain, Lindsey Graham is actually a DIG, a democrat in drag.